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A suggestion about demands for OccupyWallStreet

Update: Is anyone soaping “99%” on their windows tomorrow?

The Big Dawg has weighed in regarding OccupyWallStreet and says that the movement has to start making its intentions known.  He suggested that OccupyWallStreet get behind Obama’s jobs program but we’ve already seen what a failure that bill was.  It was too little, too late and came with too many long term effects to social security.   But now that OWS has seized Pilate’s wife, it has to issue some demands.

So, assuming that the 99% want some say over what to do with the money they earn through actual, you know, *work*, part of the task has to be to get politicians to rewrite the rules and reimpose regulations so we don’t get screwed again.  At the top of the agenda should probably be some set of policies that reward people who make their living from work over people who make their living through investments.  If it is the case that the 1% has the money to lobby the rulemakers to write the rules in its favor, then it must also be the case that there are rulemakers who will happily do its bidding and not ours.  The only way to change that is to get rid of a lot of rulemakers and replace them with rulemakers who are more to our liking.  And the only way to do that is to vote the compromised rulemakers out of office.  But before we get to the point where we decide who gets to stay and who has to go, there has to be a mechanism in place that will ensure the integrity of the voting process.  Because, as we have seen recently, the rulemakers are very intent on preventing the wrong kind of people from voting.  Then there is the problem of voting machines.  They are very easy to hack and most states do not require a paper trail.

There is a proposed remedy for this.  Rush Holt, congressman from NJ’s 12th district, has proposed a bill called the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2005.

On February 2, 2005, Rep. Rush Holt reintroduced the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (HR 550), a bill designed to restore confidence in the outcomes of elections and in our electoral process generally. The measure would require all voting machines to produce an actual paper record that voters can inspect to check the accuracy of their votes and that election officials can use to verify votes in the event of a computer malfunction, hacking, or other irregularity. Experts often refer to this paper record as a “voter-verified paper ballot.”

“Anything of value should be auditable,” said Holt. “Votes are valuable, and each voter should have the knowledge—and the confidence—that his or her vote was recorded and counted as intended. Passage of this bill will be a big step in restoring that confidence, which is the very foundation of our democratic republic.”

The bill was sponsored in 2005 and was reintroduced by Holt in 2009, probably with the sunny optimistic view that with Democrats in the driver’s seat, the bill would have a prayer. But it has been sitting in committees ever since.  I guess it was too much to ask the Democrats to pass it when they had majorities in both houses, because that would have been politically astute and the right thing to do but Democrats don’t seem to have a good sense of self-preservation.  Don’t expect the Republicans to do it.  That’s not their thing.  But if there is a movement demanding its passage, well, that would be a very big step in the right direction.   Because no matter how popular this movement is, it can’t do a damn thing if there are irregularities with the voting system.  When the vote is compromised and can’t be reliably verified, you’ve already lost.

Consider it a ‘first principles” thing.  Demand the integrity of the voting system so that the 99%’s voice can never be overridden during a election.  You’ll see pretty quickly who’s on your side and who isn’t and the answer may surprise you.  It also has the added benefit of favoring neither party, which is what you want.  The act is only intended to benefit voters and make sure there is a verifiable paper trail.  And who among the 99% can argue against that?  Part of the problem with this country is that people don’t think their votes count.  Here’s a way to make sure they do.  (We’ll have to tackle the corrupt party primaries separately)

Voting should be orgasmic.

OccupyWallStreet: Bloomberg postpones the “cleaning”

Please note that I am not at the park at the present time.  I’m just following the livestream.  See URLs below.

Update 8:06am: Live coverage back at Zuccotti and financial district.  The white shirts are back.  This is looking very tense.  The cops now have their guns out.  Crowd dispersing.  Some rumor that the police are going to take the park.  New rumor: They closed the Brooklyn Bridge??

Update: 7:43am: Livestream down again.  The last shot of the bull statue had a few policemen guarding it.  There are thousands of people pouring into the streets there.  So far, the atmosphere seems festive.  Police look a bit overwhelmed.  Arrests are being made.  The police are getting rough.

To me it looks like the police have lost this battle.  Too many people in the street right now.  This is what I thought might happen.  NYC has a huge population, today is Friday, expect the crowds to get bigger as the day goes on.  As long as the crowd stays non-violent and arrests are few, this could be quite a day for a party in NYC.

Update 7:32am:  Crowd estimate in Zuccotti park 5K.  The occupiers are marching in the street.  Police have arrived.  It’s looking tense.  Police appear to be gently escorting protestors back onto the sidewalk.  Not sure that’s going to work.  There are a LOT of people down there.

Holy S^&*!  It looks like the city is pouring into the street.

Cue the music!  Street bank striking up.  Lots of horns honking.  It’s a frickin’ party down there.  They’ve made it to the bull.  How much you want to bet someone(s) climb up on that thing?  I hope the photographers are ready to capture the moment.

6:30am: The cavalry unions are arriving.  The crowds at the park look huge.  CNN is reporting that Bloomberg has postponed the “cleaning” of Zuccotti Park.  Looking for link.  So far unconfirmed.  The livestream shows that there is something going on at the park that they refer to as a “situation”.  I think the rumor of a partial victory has gone to their heads and it’s a bit chaotic.  They were doing a mic check a few minutes to take a straw poll as to whether to take on the barricade at Wall Street.  Sounds like they’re going to go for it.  You can follow the action here:

http://www.livestream.com/globalrevolution

http://www.livestream.com/occupywallstnyc (covering street protest)

http://www.livestream.com/avaazwallstreet (this one is working)

Follow them on twitter at #occupywallstreet

They sometimes lose their livefeed.  Not sure what’s up with that.  They’re using generators and last night, one of their streaming computers died because it wasn’t charging.

Most recent shot of the crowd shows that the people of NYC turned up at 7:00am this morning as requested.  There are many people over 30 in the crowd right now.  Zuccotti park looks full.  It looks like the pre-march shots I got from last week but bigger.  The park is wall to wall people.  There are thousands and thousands of people there.  More than 2 thousand?  Looks like it to me.

Tomorrow at 5pm, there will be an Occupy Times Square.  Not sure how that’s going to work out but the cool thing about Times Square is that there’s a bleacher type structure smack dab in the middle of it.  When the lights go on in Times Square, it’s like daylight there and the view from the bleachers can’t be beat.  Times Square is super busy on Saturday night to begin with.  Will it be like New Year’s Eve in October?  Hard to say.  Probably not the best night to be visiting New York City if you’re from out of town.  On the other hand, it would be hard to not be caught up in a Times Square Occupation.  There will be other activities on Saturday.  Check the schedule at occupywallst.org

The situation is less promising at OccupyDenver where the occupation has been under siege.  It was raided at 3:00am this morning.

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